Zim army commander gets PhD from UKZN

2015-05-10 21:22

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Harare - Zimbabwe's top army commander Constantine Chiwenga, a close ally of President Robert Mugabe, has been awarded a doctorate by the University of KwaZulu Natal, a diamond company revealed on Sunday.

Anjin Investments, which operates in Zimbabwe's controversial Marange diamond fields and is 40%-owned by the Zimbabwe Defence Industries said in a statement that it congratulated Chiwenga on his attainment of a doctor of philosophy degree in Ethics.

"Reaching the pinnacle of academic excellence is no mean achievement," Anjin said.

"It is gratifying to note that through your enlightened leadership the Zimbabwe Defence Forces has been transformed into a hub of academic excellence," the firm added.

Chiwenga is the latest of several top officials with links to Zimbabwe's ruling party recently awarded PhDs, including Mugabe's wife Grace. She was controversially awarded a PhD by Zimbabwe's flagship University of Zimbabwe in September 2014, less than three months after she was reported to have enrolled for the course of study.

The powerful army commander's degree was awarded last month and it examined alleged double standards in UN Security Council humanitarian missions, according to an article posted in April by UKZN's online campus newsletter UKZNdaba.

The university said Chiwenga's thesis found that there was "a precipitous decline of UN moral stature, particularly in the eyes of the developing world."

Chiwenga said that he interviewed Mugabe, 91, during his research.

The army boss's former wife Jocelyn was implicated in the seizure of several white farms and the assault of opposition supporters. Chiwenga is now married to an ex-model who runs the Miss World Zimbabwe Trust.

Zimbabweans set much store by academic qualifications, which are seen by many as a prerequisite to high political office.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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